What are Expansion Joints?
Expansion joints have an integral role in the construction and engineering industries as they allow components to expand and contract without causing damage to the entire structure. They are a piece of equipment used to connect two parts and can be manufactured with different materials to offer the most suitable levels of protection. This post will outline what materials are used for expansion joints and what advantages they provide.
When two pieces of material, such as concrete, metal, or wood, must be joined together in a construction setting, an expansion joint will be used to connect them. Expansion joints are flexible, simple devices that enable two components to move relative to each other without breaking or cracking. They are used widely in construction and industrial applications, such as airport runways, bridges, piping systems, railway tracks, walkways, and other structures to relieve stress on building materials.
Expansion joints can bear large amounts of heat and pressure and prevent breakage, bending, cracking, and other damage in a structure due to external forces. This is because materials can move under extreme weather conditions, pressure, or seismic activity, but with expansion joints in place, they can withstand expansion and contractions safely.
What Materials are Used for Expansion Joints?
Expansion joints and expansion joint fillers can be made from various materials and will be chosen based on their suitability for the intended application. Common expansion joint materials include silicone, stainless steel, and some of the ones mentioned below.
Epoxy is often used to manufacture expansion joints because of its durability and high strength, which means it can resist excess force and stress. Other benefits include its low viscosity, which makes it easy to use, and stable performance in various temperatures.
Fabrics are highly flexible materials that are an ideal solution for industrial applications. They support the expansion of components due to high temperatures or machinery vibrations and can withstand continuous movement. Additionally, fabric materials are used as expansion joint materials because of their outstanding chemical resistance and superior strength retention.
Polymer-based materials are reliable for expansion joints because they will not rust. They are cost-effective, strong materials that are a popular choice for many applications that require expansion joints.
Using rubber in expansion joints offers several advantages over other materials. Not only are they flexible and high strength, but they are durable and able to resist thermal expansion and contraction more than other materials. Rubber is one of the most suitable materials for applications that face extreme cold and hot temperatures.
VERSIV™ Expansion Joint Materials
Two ranges of expansion joint materials are manufactured under Saint-Gobain Composite Solutions. These are the VERSIV™Darlyn & Flueflex materials, composite membranes designed to provide outstanding performance levels in harsh environments. The VERSIV™ materials are commonly used as expansion joints in flue gas desulphurization units, power plants, and other industrial applications where chemical resistance and high strength are required.
If you require more information about expansion joint materials and their applications, contact us today, and we will be in touch as soon as possible.